Just over two weeks ago, a family's cruise vacation became a nightmare when their 10-year-old daughter drowned in one of the ship's swimming pools. The family was aboard the Norwegian Gem, which left from New York and was on its way to Florida and the Bahamas.
According to a report from CNN, the young girl was found unresponsive, and attempts to revive her were unsuccessful. Although the cruise ship company says it is offering "full assistance" to the family during this difficult time, there are questions that must be answered to know what happened.
The most important thing to know from a legal standpoint is whether this child's death was the result of negligence. In other words, could someone in the ship's crew or Norwegian Cruise Lines itself done something to prevent this from happening? Where there lifeguards on duty who failed to notice that the girl was in distress? What was the pool's condition like? Were there hazards present that may have contributed to the child's death?
This incident is currently being investigated by authorities. As answers become known, it may become clear what kind of legal options this family has.
After any fatal accident on a ship, it is always wise to speak to an attorney who is familiar with admiralty and maritime law. An experienced lawyer can help you understand your rights as well as the laws that may pertain to your situation. The wrongful death of a child is always a tragic situation, but it is possible to seek justice.
Source: CNN, "10-year-old girl drowns on cruise ship," John Newsome and Catherine E. Shoichet, May 19, 2015